Enhancement Companies Create Jobs, Breathe Fresh Air Into Biotech Project

Fresh Air Into Biotech With high-priced products and numerous regulatory roadblocks, biotech firms are having a hard time finding public and venture-capital funding, industry analysts report. To sustain themselves through years of development, trials, and marketing, these companies are adopting novel capital-preserving tactics. One such strategy is "enhancement"-inventing and marketing drug-delivery methods and other technologies that "give new life" to established drugs, as well as to generic

Alison Mack
Jul 7, 1996

Fresh Air Into Biotech With high-priced products and numerous regulatory roadblocks, biotech firms are having a hard time finding public and venture-capital funding, industry analysts report. To sustain themselves through years of development, trials, and marketing, these companies are adopting novel capital-preserving tactics. One such strategy is "enhancement"-inventing and marketing drug-delivery methods and other technologies that "give new life" to established drugs, as well as to generic (off-patent) products. This approach is proving to be a source of jobs for basic as well as applied researchers.


VALUE-ADDED: AvMax's strategy is to improve the bioavailability of existing drugs, says company founder Leslie Benet.
Biotech analyst G. Steven Burrill, CEO of San Francisco-based merchant banking firm Burrill and Craves, reports that a small but growing number of biotech firms are turning to enhancement. Such firms generally license their technologies to pharmaceutical companies for a percentage of profits on the enhanced product;...

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